Biega powers Express past Rivermen

Marc Biega slips past a Langley defender. The Express defenceman had five goals in a pair of games on the weekend. - Dan Ebenal/The Tri-City News
Marc Biega slips past a Langley defender. The Express defenceman had five goals in a pair of games on the weekend.
— image credit: Dan Ebenal/The Tri-City News

An offensive explosion from defenceman Marc Biega helped the Coquitlam Express snatch a pair of wins from the first-place Langley Rivermen.

Biega notched a pair in a 3-2 win in a Sunday matinee at the Poirier Sport and Leisure Complex.

Biega opened the scoring for the Express, who jumped out to a 2-0 first-period lead.

“It was on the power play and we were just moving it around and Adam Rockwood gave me a clear pass,” said Biega. “There was really no one in front of me and Joey Santucci made a great screen and it went right in.”

The 19-year-old defenceman netted the eventual winner in the second period just a minute after the Rivermen had pulled within one.

“Rockwood again fed me through and I sneaked back door and I pretty much had an open net,” said Biega.

Ryan Rosenthal had the other Coquitlam marker, again capitalizing on a power play.

Coach Barry Wolff said it was huge for the Express to take advantage of their opponents when they’re shorthanded.

“Our power play, as you guys know, has been hot and cold,” said Wolff. “Hopefully we can get it going here, lately it’s been better.”

Tyson Witala’s second of the game pulled the Rivermen to within one midway through the second but the Express were able to limit Langley’s chances in the third period to preserve the win for Pierce Dushenko, who turned aside 19 shots.

“I’m happy with the effort,” said Wolff, adding the defensive effort displayed character. “In the third period we struggled at times when we had the lead. The guys shut them down and played responsible, we got pucks deep.”

Biega again did the damage Saturday night in Langley, finding the net in overtime to give the Express a 6-5 win.

“I took a shot from the slot and the goalie was fumbling it and then Adam Rockwood fished out the rebound and I just popped it in,” said Biega, who finished with a hat trick on the night.

“Oh my God, I can’t remember the last time I had a hat trick so that definitely felt nice, especially having the overtime winner.”

Canon Pieper had the other two Coquitlam goals while Rockwood netted three assists.

The Express jumped out to a 2-1 lead after one and built a 5-2 lead through two periods but Langley was able to get three past Gordie Defiel in the third to force overtime.

“We kind of played nervous and ran out of steam but they found a way to win,” said Wolff, who believes his team benefited from the seven days off over Christmas.

Wolff says the four-point weekend is big for the Express, who sit in third place with 39 points, six points up on the Surrey Eagles and 10 back of first-place Langley.

“It shows first that we can win in their building because it could be a playoff matchup and then obviously at home it’s important to win and make life difficult for the visiting team.”

In other news, the Express dealt defenceman Ben Israel to the New Jersey Hitmen of the U.S. Premier Hockey League for future considerations.



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